January 18, 2007

Alarming! Very, Very, Very Alarming!

It's Time for Yet Another Installment of ...

An occasional Rant feature

SOMEHOW I MISSED this glorious news, but recently I learned that Citigroup's wretched ad campaign with the vaguely Eastern European guys got canned several months before it was scheduled to wrap up. I wish I had known this when the news broke before Christmas, for it would have made everyone's holiday at home even better. Gee, we probably would have had a nice bottle of wine just to celebrate that news alone. My God, can you believe those ads were originally scheduled to run through March?

But although news of the campaign's end was wonderful, what remains rather alarming is how the campaign took hold in people's minds, as if the commercials were the advertising variant of phenobarbital. True, many people exposed to them were able to resist the ads, despite suffering symptoms similar to those one has with a bad sinus infection. Others, though, clearly broke down soon after the ads' assault, and quickly had the ads' catch phrase utterly inserted into their psyche.

This is the only explanation of which I can think to explain why A FULL SIX PERCENT of searches to The Rant in January involved some rendition of the phrase, "Rewarding! Very, very, very rewarding!" I mean, I haven't seen anything this bad since that goddam paper clip in Microsoft Word. You remember the paper clip, right? No? Here's a reminder:

Here's another fun version -- albeit shorter, foreign, profane, and violent. But we all felt this way, right?

But I digress. Anyway, to put the figure in proper perspective, it's worth nothing that variations of the "rewarding" theme turned up EVEN MORE in The Rant's search logs than various search strings related to sex and pornography. The latter subjects attract an alarming number of hits despite The Rant's almost complete lack of discussion on such matters. So I really don't know what to think of this, except that it suggests a level of banality in today's life that is very, very, very alarming.

Without further ado, though, here's a look at some of the OTHER search terms from the New Year. This will be a relatively short list but hopefully will turn out all right:

QUERY: dump lloyd carr

ANSWER: Gee, you lose to Ohio State and lose the Rose Bowl and suddenly everyone forgets the 11 games Michigan won beforehand. OK, so I wouldn't mind if the guy retired, but I don't think we can throw the man out. He went 11-2, for Pete's sake, and that's not bad. There's always next year and we'll recover.

QUERY: coca cola thieves

ANSWER: Stealing Coca-Cola is depraved and wretched in all but the most dire of circumstances, such as a large-scale thermonuclear war. I mean, can you imagine if people just stole Coca-Cola at whim what it would be like? Anarchy and bedlam!

QUERY: taurus no heat

ANSWER: A colleague of mine who had this issue recently said the blower motor had shorted out. A service call might prove necessary. Or it could just be a fun Ford Taurus quirk, the type of thing which just happens for no reason. I've noticed these start to happen on my car, although my Taurus will be ten years old this year and has 130,000 miles on it and I still really like it.

QUERY: i hate peyton manning

ANSWER: You know, variations on THIS theme were the third most popular search at The Rant so far this month! I wonder why. Anyway, thanks for visiting, and I hope you'll continue to stop by. Here's a fun video helping to explain why I hate Peyton Manning and hope New England's defense "signs his melon" repeatedly on Sunday:

QUERY: car door latch freeze

ANSWER: You may be able to prevent this in future by spraying the locks with WD-40. A liberal application of the stuff should force out any moisture inside the lock mechanism, which is what freezes. Open the door, spray inside the lock, open and close the door several times to make it stick. This tactic has worked for me several times and I've had no problems as a result.

QUERY: seattle is depressing

ANSWER: You're not going to find me arguing with that complaint.

QUERY: tricks of investing

ANSWER: Buy. Hold.

QUERY: who are the old coaches in the coor beer commercials

ANSWER: Wait, I'm sorry, what? The old coaches? How can ... OK, now I feel old. Geez. I mean, it's not like they dug up old footage of Tom Landry and worked him into the commercials, now is it? Also, although I've generally hated these commercials, I like the one with Jim Mora. That one was clever, although I have to admit I liked it largely because they got the "Playoffs?!" rant into the script.

QUERY: how to say nothing in 500words essay

ANSWER: I'll spot you one of the 500 right now: synergy. Now go on, get to work!

QUERY: is gall bladder pain bad

ANSWER: Until it's removed, yes. There's nothing like getting wracked with random spasms of excruciating pain despite subsisting on a diet that eschews fats and spice.

QUERY: natty up caffeinated beer

ANSWER: Ah, isn't that beside the point? Last time I checked, beer had ... alcohol. Which is a depressant. Which would seem to make the idea of making it caffeinated a bit pointless.

QUERY: how much do arena football players earn?

ANSWER: This can range from $200/game in the af2 league to $80,000 per year in the AFL.

QUERY: cheap bengals shirts

ANSWER: But aren't they all?

QUERY: ridiculous beckham america

ANSWER: I'm glad someone agrees with me!

QUERY: celebrity worship syndrome solution

ANSWER: Beats me. I do think, though, that the reason people tend to closely follow every detail of celebrities' lives is that it lets them live vicariously through the celebrities in question. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with that in moderation but for some it clearly becomes more than simply an interest. This would suggest to me, anyway, that the person is inwardly dissatisfied with things about his or her life and takes interest in the celebrity to focus attention away from that dissatisfaction.

Speaking of dissatisfied, I'm somewhat dissatisfied with how this entry turned out, given that I should have done a better job with it. But it's late and I'm tired, so I'm going to go to bed. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a good weekend and that you enjoy the football on Sunday. Yeah.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at January 18, 2007 09:05 PM | TrackBack
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